Sunday, November 27, 2011

Good News Bad News

I finally did it and painted my kitchen.  It's something it desperately needed, and I've wanted to do since we moved in.  It's a beautiful pale yellow now and I plan on getting some blue curtains, towels, etc to accent with.  It looks so nice and fresh, and not old anymore.  I love it!

As I was painting my last wall (behind the fridge) I noticed a few holes/scratches in the wall that wouldn't hold the paint. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that whenever I pressed the drywall near the holes, a small stream of powder would gush out of the hole, like a pixie stick.  I got a sinking feeling in my stomach and showed Alex.  After some exploration and removing all the plaster off of the areas where the drywall paper was loose, my wall now looks like this.

At first glance it looked like water damage, which would be understandable since we have a drainage problem on that side of the house that we are trying to fix.  Except that the damage fans up, instead of down.    And when you look closely the plaster is riddled with tiny holes.  And then we remembered the ant problem that we had before we started having the pest control guys spray monthly.  And come to think of it, our wall looks just like one of those ant farms you can buy.  Sinking feeling deepens.

Then Alex pulled out the baseboards on both this and the continuation of the wall in the next room (where we had seen ants emerge from before.)  Sure enough both of the baseboards splintered like rotten wood. Now our stomachs are about as low can be and we're imagining an entire wall eaten away by termites or carpenter ants or some other wood destroying organism.  But it's nearly midnight on Saturday, and there's nothing we can really do anymore until we get a professional termite guy in here on Monday to assess the damage.  So we just push the refrigerator back into place and go to bed.

We did look up our insurance policy.  Guess what is NOT covered by homeowners' insurance.

Keep us in your prayers.  We could use some good news about now.

Banana Art

 Banana Girl has made that transition from just scribbles to drawing something; namely faces. 

In this second, drawing, you may notice something different.  Banana Girl has done something that her older sister, with all her art ability, has never done: she is exploring emotions.  

This is a family portrait.  The big head is Alex ;), to the right is me, and below me are Princess M & Banana Girl, with Little Mouse in orange up in the upper left corner.  When we questioned her about it, this is roughly how the conversation went:

Mommy:  "This is Daddy?  Is Daddy happy?"
Banana Girl: "No.  He's sad."
Mommy: "Is Mommy sad too?"
Banana Girl: "No.  She's mad."
At this point, I'm trying to suppress a laugh, and Alex took it a step further:
Daddy: "Why is Daddy sad?  Did he lose his game?"
Banana Girl: "No.  He's ignoring Momma."
Daddy: "Why is Momma sad?"
Banana Girl: "Because Daddy is ignoring her."

Priceless.  Should I be concerned?  I think I need to watch my temper better.  Apparently all the girls are happy though.  

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a lovely thanksgiving here.  Two wonderful dinners, lots of friends new and old, and just a great time.  Unfortunately, no pictures.  But I do have a Thankful book that Princess M created in school this week.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"I'm Princess M! I'm six!"

Well, I've had these pictures ready to be posted for the past week.  But I just never could seem to find the time to write.  Princess M had her 6th birthday last weekend.  Since she was born on Labor day, school was closed for her birthday and she was able to have some friends over for an Elevensies Princess Tea Party.  We had to add the Elevensies in because her birthday this year was 11/11/11 (and of course we started the party at 11:11 am as well.)  We had 11 dishes at her party, all with 11 items on the plate.  I couldn't think of any other way to incorporate 11 into the party.  

Here's Princess M blowing out her 6 candle on her 11 cupcakes.

We broke the girls up into a green team and a pink team and had a princess dress up game.  The two attendants had to make the most beautiful dress that they could on their princess using green and pink streamers.  

The only working camera I had was my cell phone, so the pictures are not very good (or very plentiful either.)

The girls had a lot of fun together, ate a bunch of goodies, and just had fun being princesses for a few hours.

Like I did for Banana Girl, I'd like to take a moment to record some observations on princess M on this, her 6th birthday.  At this point in her life, these are her favorites:

Favorite Color: Green.  Although closely followed by purple and then pink.
Favorite Toy: At the moment, her purple unicorn pillow pet that she got for her birthday, but I imagine that won't last long.  The two new barbies (Rapunzel and Super Star Barbie) have a better shot at staying in the favorite toy lineup for a while.  She also favors a few Littlest Pet Shops from time to time.
Favorite Foods: Here's what she would have chosen for her birthday menu, if I hadn't been so busy preparing a friends party: Hot Chocolate & Blueberry scones (which she did get at her tea party), quesadillas with lunch meat inside, ramen noodle soup and rainbow chip cake with green frosting (which she also got at her party).
Favorite Movies: Cars 2.  (Not very girly in this genre at the moment.  But that's the newest Disney movie out; which is generally her favorite.)  She also loves watching "Eloise" Movies, which inspired the title of this post.
Favorite Music: "I Know Heavenly Father Loves Me", "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", "Stuck Like Glue" by Sugarland, and anything Abba.  She also really enjoys listening to classical music.  She calls it "ballet music" since that is what they dance to in class.
Favorite TV show: Sponge Bob Square Pants.
Favorite Activities: Swimming, going on hikes, riding her bike, ballet, painting toesies, playing at a playground, playing at friend's homes or with the other kids at school, being in charge, playing battleship, and playing computer games (,, and mickey mouse clubhouse)
Favorite Clothes: Anything with a skirt!  Hearts and butterflies are a bonus.  It's like pulling teeth to get her to wear pants though.
What I Want to Be When I Grow Up: A Veterinarian.

Princess M is our firstborn, and as such is our trailblazer child as parents.  Every new phase she goes through is a new phase for us as well.  It has always been so exciting to watch how quickly she is growing up and learning new things.  And learning new things has always been something that she does very very well.  She is so bright (and a little tall for her age) so everyone always thinks that she is older than she is.  She is at the top of her class in Kindergarten, and just loves to share with us the new things that she is learning there.  She can read several basic words and is getting good at sounding out new words.  Before too long she'll be reading all on her own.  She just recently learned how to play battleship with her dad, and has picked up very quick on the strategies of the game (and how to taunt and trick her dad.)  It's really fun to watch.
Like me, she loves to plan things and organize things to her liking.  Also like me, she is very focused and persistent in her ventures.  Some may call us stubborn; and maybe we are; but it can be a very good thing when pursuing worthy goals.  (I just need to remember to be patient with her persistence; since I know where she gets it.)  I hope I can help her to channel all that good stick-to-it-iveness in good directions.  

Unlike me, however, she is very artistic as well as smart.  The first time she stopped scribbling and asked me how to draw a smiley face, I showed her how to draw a standard face.  The perfectionist in her then wanted me to show her how to draw everything, but I pretty much stopped showing her at that point and asked her to draw whatever she saw, however she wanted to draw it.  She resisted at first, but very soon she just took off with it.  It has been so fun watching how she perceives the world through her drawings.  And they get better and better all the time.  It's usually very clear too, exactly what she is trying to draw.  Her world right now is full of rainbows, unicorns, and very happy people.  It's wonderful!

Princess M has always had a love for music and especially dancing.  Even before we put her in ballet, she was trying to learn on her own by watching Barbie movies with ballerinas.  So often she'll be going about her chores or games on pointed toes, striking a pose on her way.  She has developed an appreciation for classical music as well, which she calls "Ballet Music," and which I am very grateful for.  Her ballet school puts on the Nutcracker every year for Christmas, and she is very excited to be one of the mice in the show this year.  If anyone will be in town the first weekend in December, it promises to be a great show.

Princess M loves to play with other girls, especially those just a little older than her, and especially if they let her be the leader at all.  Even so, she also really loves to play with her younger sister and teach her what she is learning in school and ballet.  I just love that they play together so well, and seem to genuinely care and watch out for each other.  Princess M also just adores her baby sister.  She would smother her in hugs and kisses if I let her, and has always been a great help to me with taking care of her.  She's very loving and likes to cuddle with us whenever we'll let her.  She loves animals and can't wait until Christmas time when we've told her we'll be able to pick out a new kitten.  However, I'm not sure I'll allow the name "Hearts" for our kitten, that she has already decided on.  We'll see.  Maybe I'll have Santa surprise her with a kitten this year.  That could be fun.

Princess M is so very precious to our family.  I see so much of myself in her, both good and bad.  She's beginning to comprehend this big world that she's living in; there doesn't seem to be anything that I can't talk to her about anymore (almost.)  I'm so proud of all she is and is becoming, and hope I can be the loving, understanding, and patient mother that she needs me to be.  

Happy Birthday Princess M!!! I love you very very much!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Halloween Weekend

We had a great Halloween Weekend last week.  The church held a Family Fun Fall Fair Festival Fete Fling Thing (or something like that) on Saturday.  The girls jumped on jumpy castles, ate cotton candy, popcorn, and snow cones, went fishing, got "Fairy Eyes" painted on their faces, and just had a really fun time. 
Aren't they Gorgeous?

The next day we got all dressed up in our Orange and Purple dresses for Church.  Banana Girl even had a Halloween shirt with cats and pumpkins to wear under her jumper.

Our outfits were complete with orange flowers for pigtails (Banana Girl) and spider hair clips (for Princess M & I).   

 I make girls hair bows for fun, from flowers to bows, to bugs (lady bugs, bees, and butterflies) I've been wanting to try a spider for a long time. This year I finally did it. They turned out pretty cool I thought. Mine had brown legs and Princess M's had orange. They were a hit at church.

Monday brought Halloween.  Princess M got to wear her costume to school all day and the other 2 girls joined her after dinner in costume for Trick or Treating at the mall and the park for community sponsored festivals/"safe" trick or treating. 
 Little Mouse wasn't too happy with her costume at this point.  She made an awfully cute jack-o-lantern though.

Princess M went as Rapunzel.  We had an old blond wig laying around the house and for the cost of a cheap hair extension ($6) we brushed out the hair, braided the extension into the wig and filled it with homemade flower pins to look like Rapunzel at the floating lights celebration.  It's too bad I didn't get a picture when we finished making it.  It was quite stunning. 
 Here's what it looked like after a day at school and trick or treating though.

Banana Girl went as her favorite princess, Cinderella (the one in the pink dress as she put it.)

We had a great time!  The girls came home pooped and with a basket full of candy each.  (Which Mom and Dad promptly confiscated and now use to bribe them to do chores.  What mean parents we are!  Thanks for the idea, Nate & Cindy!)